Articles By: Bob Woelk

Random thoughts as seasons change

Some random thoughts brought on by the change of seasons: fall to winter; football and volleyball to basketball and wrestling; ?Deadliest Catch? to ?Ice Road Truckers.? I?ve noticed that if the weatherman is going to be right about the weekly forecast, it will be for rain on the day I really need it to be dry. If a nice day […]

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Coaching tennis has been a good gig

Tennis is a game that is easy to love, if you?ll pardon the pun. Sure, some other sports?cross country and golf, for example?are also more individual than team competitions. Cross country is aerobic and calls for endurance, but requires little in the way of hand-eye coordination, however. Golfers certainly need specialized skills, but the conditioning benefits are minimal. Tennis is […]

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Fear mongers are taking aim again

I?m pretty sure I already wrote a column about the culture of fear in which we live. It had to be a while back because I couldn?t find it on my computer. Normally, I wouldn?t broach a subject that I could be writing about for a second time, but recent events have compelled me to once again examine the idea […]

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Civil War stops a highlight of sight-seeing version of this trip east

For the third time in the past 12 months, wife Kathy and I headed east?way out east. Last year when we loaded up the van, we were taking our daughter to college in Harrisonburg, Va., about 1,200 miles due east. We left home early on an August Thursday morning and returned the following Tuesday afternoon. That felt like a quick […]

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Beware of the infomercial purchase

More random summer thoughts (aren?t they the best kind?)…. n I bought a pair of those Topsy Turvy tomato growers for my backyard. I saw the ad on TV early last spring, and I took the plunge. Understand, I seldom buy anything from an infomercial, and now I realize why. I was enticed to purchase not one, but two, tomato-growing […]

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Random thoughts are in full bloom

Random thoughts as spring makes its way into summer: I have an ideal way to stimulate the economy: have all members of Congress and all government officials checked for back taxes they might owe. Imagine how those funds would fill the treasury. Once in a while a phrase just seems to sum things up perfectly. My favorite recession term for […]

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Maybe we Kansans are hicks after all

Kansans are often heard lamenting the fact that we are considered by other parts of the country to be hicks, behind the times and backward.

Much of that reputation is undeserved as long-time residents can attest.

But, quite frankly, some of the way we are negatively looked upon by those from the east and west coasts is deserved. As Jimmy Buffet so eloquently put it, it?s our own dadgum fault.

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It?s time to praise Marion?s assets

I write in praise of Marion. Yes, the county seat. The town between two lakes. Rhino central. Why? Because the city to Hillsboro?s east has a lot going for it. I believe it?s time we recognize that fact and put any lingering differences aside. First and foremost, Marion has a river running through it. I have always wanted to live […]

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Ideas I don’t want to write about

I don?t have any ideas for a column this month. I do, however, have lots of ideas for columns I don?t want to write.

I?m not in the mood to discuss the state financial crisis. If I were, I would write that it is bush league politics at its finest to promise schools money for the year and then say, ?Oops; we can?t cover what we said we would provide per pupil. Tough luck.?

At this point, where can education budgets be trimmed? A number of ideas have surfaced, including extending the length of each day and then going to a four-day school week. We already have one of the longest school days in the state here in Hillsboro.

Another idea is to stop school May 1. We could do that, but would sports continue until the state baseball and softball tournaments and state track meet at the end of May?

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Some people still care about English

My son gave me a book on language, our language, for Christmas. It was probably a bad idea for him to give an English teacher such a present, but ?Alphabet Juice? by Roy Blount Jr. is a great read for anyone who cares about English?both of us.

I?m nowhere near the finish of the latest offering from Blount, who can often be heard on National Public Radio?s ?Wait, Wait, Don?t Tell Me? and is the author of 20 other books. But, I?d like to share a few gems so far.

Blount comes out in support of ?ain?t? as a word, though my spell checker instantly underlines it as inappropriate. Blount writes: ?Just as ?y?all? as a plural of you fills a gap in English, so does ?ain?t? as a contraction of ?am not.? Anyone attempting to pronounce ?amn?t? may attract a crowd of well-wishers admiring his or her pluck, but whatever other words the speaker surrounds it with will be lost.?

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